Friday, August 28, 2009

The Train and the Aquarium

As a back to school celebration for Clay and the boys we took the train to Dallas and went to the Aquarium. The train was just as much part of the adventure for the boys!

Clay and Jude riding the train
Noah acting like a monkey on the train

Me and my sweet shark-loving boy

This bird ate a cranberry right out of his hand!

This slough got fed a licorice stick as we were walking by. He just hangs out in the open so you can stop by and watch him roam about. There is even a Slough Crossing as you are walking by!

A big high-light was watching the employees feed the animals. We were able to watch the otters, the sharks, and the penguins get fed one of their daily meals. This saw shark was Noah's favorite sea life creature of all. He was also very fond of the sea horse, sea dragon, and sea urchin.

Clay and Noah are looking on as the penguins are being coerced to eat their lunch.

Jude stayed awake almost the whole time, but fell asleep at the end.

Swimming penguin buddies

Iles Family Trip

At the beginning of August we met all the Iles family in East Texas at Piney Woods Camp for a weekend together. We were celebrating Bro. Curt and Mrs. DeDe's 30th wedding anniversary, mine and Clay's and Clint and Amanda's 5th wedding anniversary, and Terry and Sara as a newly married couple. It's really neat how all of us celebrate our anniversaries within a couple of months during the summer. A great time of the year to all get together!

Noah spent the week away from us visting PaPa and Dee and Grammie and Pops, so we just had Jude along for the ride. We left during nap time so Jude was quite content during the drive.
This was the beautiful house that Bro. Curt, Mrs. DeDe, MeMe, and the grandsons stayed in. Bro. Curt and Mrs. DeDe were so kind to get the rest of us individual hotel rooms!

Clay and his brothers grilled us some yummy hamburgers one night and steak another night. YUM!

Sweet Noah sharing a snack with his brother. Nothing makes my heart happier than this :)

My talented sis-in-law, Amanda, made this yummy and creative 7-layer dip.

Noah and Jack showing off their muscles.

Here's a photo of PaPa and his 3 grandsons.
Noah (3), Jack (2), and Jude (1)
Now that Amanda is expecting again we are wondering if it's going to make Iles grandson #4 or Iles granddaughter #1. Hmmm....
That Saturday we spent the day at a really neat water area with a huge water slide for adults and other water activities for kids. Noah even caught his first fish in a fish pond, but I have no proof because I was a terrible picture taker! Well I do have this one picture of Clay and his brothers being brothers. I think they had the most fun in this "friendly" competition of pedal car racing. Sara and I were proclaimed as the official judges. We felt a little intimidated by all the rules :)
The weekend was such a success we all agreed to do the same thing next year. Bro. Curt already has it booked for the same weekend a year from now!
Thanks Iles Family for a great time of together-ness!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our 5 Year Anniversary

At the end of July Clay and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. Our sweet friends, Rick and Lynette Driggers, agreed to keep our boys so we could enjoy a weekend get away. We celebrated close so we could come back to town for a wedding of some good friends that Saturday. Even though this blog is about Noah and Jude, I thought I'd share a little post about their mom and dad. And this weekend was about them, too. This was the first weekend away from me for Jude and Noah has only been away two other times, so this was a celebration of sorts for them as well.

We brought the boys to the Driggers on Friday morning and headed to Dallas. We ate a cajun lunch at Gators. We weren't too impressed with the food, but enjoyed being together. Our favorite thing was just walking around downtown with no stroller or bags or sippy cups to worry about. It was such a treat!

Next we went to the JFK Museum. I know it sounds like we are totally nerdy, but we live this close and have never been. It's definitely not a kid-friendly place. Few people realize that JFK was shot in Dallas and was shot out of this very building. There is even several Xs on the road the mark where his car was when we was shot. The museum was really interesting and we were glad to get that experience.

That night we took our time getting ready and didn't have any schedule of eating at a particular time or any bedtime to have to adhere to. Our friends, The Sanks, recommended a lovely restaurant called Margarita Grill. It is a delicious Mexican eatery in the middle of Mockingbird Station, a really fun entertainment district of Dallas. We enjoyed some yummy fajitas that we could not finish. We have vowed to take another trip there before we move and share a plate of bacon-wrapped shrimp fajitas!

Our waitress told the manager it was our anniversary and they brought out this yummy chocolate dessert!
Afterwards we went to the movies and enjoyed sleeping in until 9:00 the next morning!!!!

On Saturday we went to see our friends, Mike and Marci, get married. It was a beautiful wedding. We enjoyed the reception without having to chase kids. Our friend, Ginger, was the photographer for the wedding. She snapped this picture of us at the reception.
When we left the reception we went to dinner at Pappadeaux's and ordered a movie in the room. Sunday morning we drove to church to pick up our boys who we missed very much.
We enjoyed our time away, but are so thankful for the family God has given us. Our boys make life so much fun and are huge blessings!

A few favorite things

These pictures were taken over the past month and show what are boys are constantly doing:

Noah LOVES baseball. He could play all day everyday if he had the chance. As soon as we go outside he requests his glove and baseball and he's ready for us to play catch. If we're in the house he wants to play catch as well, so we have many soft balls available for this. Everything he wears is "baseball" even if it has nothing to do with the game! Clay is so proud of his boy and I think may expect a change in sports in a few weeks when LSU plays their first game of the season :)
He also loves shoes of any sorts. One night we went to tell the boys good night and found Noah in his bed like this. Apparently after we put him to sleep, he gets up and gets his favorite shoes out of his closet and tries them on. He also likes wearing my flip flops or slip on shoes.

Today he was wearing my flip-flops and I told him they were too big for him. He claimed they were not too big for him, even though they were hanging off his feet. There is no reasoning with this kid. He is very confident in his ideas and there isn't usually any way to persuade him. What's a kind way of calling my son stubborn?

Jude's favorite thing to do is CLIMB! If there is a chair nearby he will find a way onto the couch, the top of the picnic table, or the top of the small Cars table in our living room. He also escapes outside if the door is left open for even a moment. He will climb onto or into any ride on toy that is available. He's also climbed up several slides recently. All this climbing makes me so nervous. He's not even walking yet, so his stability is pretty shaky. Now my eyes are on 2 kids every minute of the day. It's a good thing our house has already been child-proofed!

Noah's 3rd Birthday Party

We celebrated Noah's 3rd birthday with a party on Saturday, July 25. (I'm way behind on posts!) He and his good pal, Karis, whose birthday is just 3 days before his, shared a joint celebration. Noah chose a fun baseball themed party, while Karis chose a very girly, flower party. I was a horrible picture taker throughout the event, but did grab a few photos to share with you all.

I have only 2 pictures of Noah at his own party! This is one of them. It counts event though it's a side shot, right?
This is the other one. A little better I think :)

Here are the fabulous cakes our sweet friend, Brooke, made. They were delicious and custom made for our kiddos.

Here's the loot that Noah and Karis collected.
We are so thankful for good friends to celebrate life with. God has been so good to give us our Noah. Life would definitely be different without his sweet and active spirit!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Noah's Birthday Celebrations

On July 24th Noah turned 3 years old! We had a day filled with fun!

We started the morning with a breakfast birthday party. When Noah found out he was having a party at breakfast he requested "special plates and napkins". We took a trip to the Dollar Tree and he picked out sports plates, napkins, and a balloon.

We continued the Iles tradition of serving birthday donuts. We also had chocolate milk because that's Noah's favorite drink. The chocolate milk is quickly being added into the birthday tradition.

Noah enjoyed a very short stint with a toy guitar a while back. He enterained us with many songs and a few of those performances even made it on Facebook. However, the toy was short lived when Noah decided to act out a Hendrix move by smashing it against the kitchen table. Clay and I don't plan to always fix our kids' mistakes by buying them things, but in this case it was his birthday and he does enjoy playing the guitar. He has enjoyed playing his new guitar and especially using his picks. He's been warned that this one will not be replaced.

He also got a new Astros hat, which he lovingly calls his "baseball hat". Actually everything he wears these days is baseball. Every shirt or pair of shorts or shoes he puts on he refers to as his "baseball _____".

We enjoyed a yummy lunch and birthday cupcakes with some special friends.

And we spent the afternoon swimming with those friends.
(Noah did not make the mid-day birthday pictures. He was probably claiming he was "going under" in the kiddie pool :)

That evening we took Noah and Jude to Chuck-E-Cheese. Noah hadn't been there in a year, so he had to get reaquainted, but it didn't take him long to feel right at home. He was eager to finish his pizza so he could play games. We saw his friend, Hudson, while we were there. Hudson told Noah, "Hey, do you wanna ride rides together after you finish eating your pizza?".

Jude insists on climbing on everything! The kid refuses to walk, but is an expert climber!

Our sweet boys love playing together. They are best buds!

Noah is the best Skee Ball player I've seen. Well, when it comes to kids under 5 he's the best. He really racked up the points. He spent most of his tokens at this game. He didn't really get the point of the tickets, he just loved having permission to throw as many balls as he wanted!

Saying Goodbye to Sweet Friends

Over the past 3 years we've had multiple opportunities to say goodbye to sweet friends. There is a special group of people we like to spend time with and it is slowly getting smaller and smaller. The connections range from being ex-Louisianians, to attending Louisiana Tech, to attending Southwestern Seminary, to everything in between. We enjoy get-togethers for holiday celebrations, wedding showers, baby showers, and just any excuse we can find to eat and have fellowship.

Last month, we had a going away party for our Bufkin friends. We will especially miss the camaraderie between their boys and our boys. Since they only moved a few hours away, hopefully we will see each other from time to time.
These pictures are from the going away party we had at the Sanks' house. The last few pictures are from a dinner we had together a few days before they left.

some of the gals at the going away party
our kiddos making a train with their chairs

jax licking his brownie plate clean

and licking those fingers, too!

Meredith and I always seem to dress our boys in green :)

jude is eating the last few brownie crumbs he can find

noah and sawyer checking out a few books together